Tories Attack Over Desmond Recovery

2 October 2018, 10:33 | Updated: 2 October 2018, 17:07

Cllr James Airey

The Conservatives have attacked Cumbria County Council over how long Storm Desmond repairs are taking.

The Tories claim work on 500 roads and bridges is yet to start, three years on from the disaster.

They add £43million of government recovery money remains untouched.

Councillor James Airey said: “For thousands of residents who have had to put up with road diversions, closures and temporary traffic lights for three years, it will come as a real kick in the teeth to learn that the county council has failed to spend £43 million of road and bridge repair funding provided by the Government in the immediate aftermath of Storm Desmond.

“When our Labour and Liberal Democrat council receives Government funding for repairs and improvements, they are too often caught sitting on their hands to the detriment of our area and the people who live here.

“This is just the latest example and why the council now needs to take a no-holds-barred look at the way it goes about delivering infrastructure improvements in our county.”

CCC spokesperson:
“This was always planned as a four year programme, and two thirds of the way through we have spent two thirds of the money. Spreading the programme over three years has avoided the extremely high level of disruption that would have occurred had the works been crammed into a shorter period. It’s also meant we’ve overwhelmingly been able to use local contractors for the works (who would not have had the capacity to deliver the work in a shorter timescale), keeping millions of pounds in the county and  creating around 400 jobs in the process. We’re proud of the work that is being done through this programme.”